Colorado – Day 4

After a relatively easy day, I was ready once more for the trip back to Lake city. We carefully checked our maps (4 maps and 2 guide books) and headed out on Hwy 110 from Silverton to Lake City. That was the last time we knew where we were til we reached Animas Forks.

These are tiny roads to begin with, single lane, unpaved, really twisted. And when any signs of significance are missing it’s hard to tell where you are, or whether you are even headed the right direction. Just because you are headed East doesn’t mean you won’t head North, South, and even West on the way the way these roads twist around! But in any case, the views were great on the route we took.

This is the view from California Pass,12,500 ft. Believe it or not, there are 4 vehicles in this picture. One at the top of the road, two more at the first bend, and this last one in the bottom right. I think this last person had a little problem with the pass.

Here’s a couple more shots from the pass. I like the little face in the rocks.

Way up here above the tree line, they have Alpine Tundra only found in the Arctics and at high elevations. It’s quite fragile and can take up to 100 years to recover from serious damage. I found it to be surprisingly soft and spongy, quite comfortable to rest on. Lying back in the sun on a bed of tundra, quite comfortable and cozy.

If that stream looks unusually white, it is. The rocks were bleached white along the stream bed. The water is crystal clear.

Here’s an old Mill in Placer Gulch, once the leading edge in technology. A Mill processes the raw ore from the mines, producing a concentrate that is then shipped to a smelter for refinement. This mill received it’s ore by way of cable tramways from mines in the area. Which, considering the Mill hasn’t been active in over 100 years, seems quite a feat.

I figured you might not notice the building in the first shot – way over there on the opposite slope, so I gave you a close up of it. Looks like a real fixer-upper. Oh, and that is NOT a road in the picture, it is a stream bed, so THAT is a pretty remote location. The other building is from Animas Forks, once a thriving mining community, long since abandoned.

Alas, I ran out of memory around here. I really should have bought that extra memory card, but the views were so amazing I went back through all the pics and deleted a couple I was less than ecstatic about. The gamble paid off, I got some pics I WAS ecstatic about.

We made it to Lake City without incident, where I once again wished I had more memory. Once back on asphalt, we headed towards home. Our vacation was over, but the memories will last a LONG time.

* Extra Pics *

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